Myofascial Release Technique (MRT)-Active Release Tecnique (ART)
Okay…before the article below.. check out this video (fantastic electron microscope images at 4 to 6 min mark) of Dr. Warren Hammer offering patient-friendly explanation of the anatomy and physiology of fascia at the Fascial Manipulation workshop in Dallas, Nov, 2011
Myofascial Release Technique is a technique that I do in my office along with your particular treatment program. (eg. Corrective spinal adjustment/manipulation, extremity manipulation/mobilization, Flexion distraction, cervical or lumbar non-surgical decompression, laser, ultrasound, muscle stimulation)
Myo means muscle and Fascia is similar to a saran wrap like sheath that covers the muscle.
Here is a very cool video on fascia dubbed from German TV: FASCIA
“There are 10 times as many sensory receptors in your fascial structures as there are in your muscles.”
Another great video link at bottom of the page “The Fuzz speech”.
Unlike Saran wrap(which from the store comes in pieces) – your bodies FASCIA is more like a continuous fabric covering everything in your body with no identifiable beginning or end.
Fascia goes throughout your whole body…so tension or trauma in one part of your body will often affect another part of your body.
Myofascial Release is a soft tissue (Muscle and Fascia) treatment focused at breaking up soft tissue adhesions (scar tissue). (Some doctors/therapists incorporate a similar technique called Active Release Technique or ART.)
Myofascial Release (MRT) is not the same as getting a “spa” massage.
There are very specific protocols and maneuvers aimed to maximize the effectiveness of this treatment for any muscle in the body.
Doctors/therapists trained in MRT/ART are targeting the problem areas where adhesions have formed.
How did I get scar tissue you say?
Myofascial adhesions form as a result of injury to soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia).
The injury can be traumatic (eg. ankle sprain, fall, car accident) or cumulative (eg. Typing on a computer all day).
When soft tissues are injured, the body lays down a gluey fibrous scar. Much like a scab on the skin, it does the job, but it is not nearly as supple and flexible as the regular healthy tissue.
Proper soft tissue should be like the elastic fabric of your underwear waistband.
Scar tissue adhesion’s are more like denim material. Yes, denim is strong, but not good for proper functioning soft tissue.
The amount of scar tissue/adhesions one may have in a specific area depends on how severely and how many times the tissue has been injured.
What’s UP? My body made the scar/adhesion, isn’t it supposed to be there?
Yes and no. It’s a good thing that the body can patch itself (denim tissue); otherwise muscle strains might never heal. However, muscles should be elastic, like I described above.
The presence of scar tissue in your muscles does 3 things:
Decrease overall muscle elasticity
Reduce optimum muscle firing for speed, strength, duration
Predispose the muscle to future re-injury/tearing—this is not good.
Properly done Myofascial Release will break up scar tissue in the muscle, accomplishing 3 things:
Increase tissue elasticity
Optimize muscle recruitment/firing for speed, strength, duration
Reduce risk of re-injury to the area–all good things.
other good reads:
If you are suffering from: Sports Injuries, Sprains, Strains, Car accident, Herniated Disc, Disc Bulge, Degenerative Disc Disease, Neck pain, Headaches, Low back pain, of just want to feel better and have better life performance– please call our office in Irvine, California- at 949.857.1888or visit our website at ADJUST2IT to learn more about Functional Fitness Chiropractic, Sports massage, Myofascial Release, Corrective Exercise, Non Surgical Spinal Decompression, Class IV laser, and Functional Nutrition.